The Difference Philanthropy Made for Me
One day in the clinic, one of my patients befriended me. He was a retired pediatrician from the community who was battling advanced prostate cancer.
He started asking me about how my research career was going. Each time I saw him, I would give him a little more information about what we were doing in our laboratories to treat prostate disease.
Between his appointments, he would do a little research about my research. He would come in with advice about what I was doing, and I would usually tell him that what he was suggesting might not apply directly to what we were trying to do. But I sincerely appreciated his interest.
One day, I was called to the president’s office. When I arrived, my pediatrician friend was there. He presented me with a check for $2 million in research funding. While this doctor was a pediatrician in the community, he also had made some wise investments in hospitals and health care.
That act of philanthropy transformed my life. It catapulted my academic career onto the national scene. Within a few years, we had a national-level program in prostate research and eventually were able to make a real impact on a disease that affects men around the world.
It was all thanks to that pediatrician, the relationship we had and his vision for how a gift could be transformative.
John D. McConnell, MD
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